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conceit made her fond of scribbling and showing her follies that way, as well as taking great delight in applause.
My friend Meanwell is a gentleman of good sense and a sound judgment; he is a professed enemy to flattery, and is of opinion, that to commend without just grounds, is to rob the meritorious of that, which only of right belongs to them. He says a compliment is a modish lie; and declares, that he would not be guilty of so much baseness as to cry up a beautiful fool for wit, not even in her own hearing, though he were sure to have his falsehood rewarded by the affection of his mistress. Unmerited applause is to him an argument of want of judgment, or of insincerity; and he resolves, that he will never attempt to establish another's reputation at the
expense of his own. With these honest, useless quali. ties, he has made long but fruitless courtship to young Miss Witwou'd.
Ned Courtly is a new but violent pretender to the same lady. Ned is a shallow well dressed coxcomb. He was bred genteelly, and is of a graceful and confident behaviour, tempered with civility. The shallow thing can wait at a distance, look at her, and then with a smile approach her, and say— -“ You are divinely pretty.” He is also remarka. bly happy in particular discoveries; and whenever he re. news a visit to his mistress, she is sure to be presented with some additional charm, which would for ever have lain concealed, had not Ned most luckily have explored it. Ned quickly perceived Miss Witwou'd's weak side, and careful. ly watched all opportunities of making his advantage of it. Miss grows enamoured of Ned's company, and begins to despise Meanwell as an unpolished clown. She likes Ned as she likes her glass, and for the same reason, that it always shows her beauties; and she takes as much pleasure in hearing him, injudiciously as he does it, give her also the beauties of her mind, as she does to see the glass reflect those of her body. One evening lately, Meanwell had the honour of supping with her. The cloth being taken away, she delivered him a copy of verses, which she said had been the product of her leisure hours, and desired the opinion of so good a judge. My friend had the patience to read them twice over, found nothing extraordinary in them, and smilingly returned them with a silent bow. He was just about to speak his mind impartially, when in came Ned Courtly. He perused and hummed them over in a seeming rapture; looked at the lady, and then at the paper, for almost half an hour, in full admiration; and then, with a better air than ever critic spoke, he pronounced, that the author of those verses had Congreve's wit, and Waller's softness, and that there was nothing so completely perfect in all their works.
The consequence was, Meanwell was discarded, because he would be rigidly honest in trifles ; and Ned made his. mistress his wife, because, in spite of nature, he allowed her to be a poetess; or, perhaps very justly, because he really thinks her so.
A LETTER FROM A LADY TO IIER YOUNG FRIEND, ON HER
“I ADDRESS myself singly to you, my dear Gertrude, be. cause the delicacy of your present situation demands my serious attention, and calls up
my tenderness. “I am inexpressibly pleased, to find you have made choice of so worthy a man as Mr. Fitzgerald, and that your parents approve the object of your selection. I think you have acted like a woman of sense and prudence, and I make no doubt but you will
preserve the same propriety of conduct when a wife, as has evidently characterized you whilst single. I admire that real delicacy, which impelled you to give immediate dismission to all those pretenders, who licited
your hand without being able to influence your heart in their favour. There cannot be a more despicable passion, than that insatiable thirst for admiration, which leads a woman to encourage indiscriminately the forward advances of every coxcomb, who shall pay her the incense of flattery ; and to be continually spreading her lures to attract adulation, however in her heart she may despise the person who offers it.
“I am sensible, my dear Gertrude will 'pardon me, if, anxious for her future happiness, I venture to give her my advice and opinion for the preservation of her felicity in the married state.
“ It has often been remarked, that a heart is much easier gained than kept; and, believe me, it is a very judicious observation. There requires more care, attention, and solicitude, from the wife to the husband, than from the mistress to the adoring lover. The lover, being but seldom with you, sees you only in part. It is natural to suppose you would neither appear before him in a slatternly dress, nor with a peevish aspect. Your clothes will be always put on with neatness, and your face dressed in smiles. On the contrary, the husband, being always in your company, has an opportunity of discovering every little defect or blemish in your person, manners, or disposition; and the chief study of a wife should be, to guard against every thing that might create distaste, or excite disgust.
“ In the first place, let me recommend a most scrupulous regard to delicacy and neatness. Many young women fool. ishly imagine, as soon as they are married, they have a right to understand and laugh at an indelicate allusion. But from this fault the native purity of your mind will, I am certain, preserve you ; since nothing but extreme ignorance or levity could lead any woman to listen, with apparent pleasure, to an improper tale, or ill-timed jest. There are too many men, yea, even among those who call themselves gentlemen, who will not scruple to shock a woman's ears with conver. sation of this kind. But the look of marked disapprobation and silent contempt, will never fail to silence them, unless they are either brutes or fools; and to such there is no fear of your being exposed.
“ The next thing is, neatness in your person and dress, and an equanimity of temper, to be preserved towards your hus. band and your servants. Nothing degrades a gentlewoman more, than her suffering her temper to be so far ruffled, as to use improper language to her dependants; nor can any thing be more disgusting to a man of sense, than to see his wife give way to sudden starts of passion.
“ To every friend and relation of your husband, show. a polite attention, and marked preference. Show him, that to be related to, or esteemed by him, is a sufficient claim upon your regard. Whatever be his errors, confine the know. ledge of them to your own bosom ; and endeavour, by the mildest persuasions, to lead him to the path of rectitude. Dis
cretion must direct you as to the proper season to offer your advice and opinions ; since men in general are so tenacious of their prerogative, that they start from every thing which has the least appearance of control or opposition. If he should be fond of company, dissipation, and expensive amusements, be it your study to detach his mind from those pur. suits, by endeavouring to render his home delightful. Let your face be ever arrayed in smiles at his approach; form a society of those he loves and esteems most ; exert your various abilities to charm and entertain him; and believe me, he who constantly meets cheerfulness and smiles at home, will seldom wish to seek abroad for pleasure.
“ Above all things, never suffer any person to speak disrespectfully of him in your presence; and guard your heart from the least approach of jealousy. Should there even be occasion for suspicion, be careful not to let him see you have discovered his dishonourable conduct, and never suffer any one, more especially a man, to hear you complain.
“ Avoid reproaches. They, in general, increase rather than alleviate the distress. If patient suffering and the mild remonstrance of an afflicted uncomplaining spirit, will not work a reformation, reproach and discontent never will.
“ You must not be above attending to his interest, so far as may lead you to inspect the expenses of your family. Let your own expenses be regulated by prudence void of parsi. mony, and suffer not a passion for finery, and a wish to eclipse your acquaintances, to prompt you to overstep your income, or deprive you of the inexpressible pleasure of relieving indigent merit.
“ There is one more circumstance I must mention, although a thorough knowledge of your disposition renders it almost unnecessary; yet I have seen so many couples made inex, pressibly miserable by it, that I cannot resist my inclination to warn you of so dangerous a conduct. Never permit any man, however clothed with the mask of friendship, to treat you with familiarity. There are many freedoms, which to